Huawei Chairman Considering Signing a No-Spy Deal with the United States

Huawei's willingness to sign a no-spy agreement with the U.S. demonstrates willingness to make peace.
Susan Fourtané

According to the United States, Huawei is a national security threat. This accusation began last year with the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou; the arrest put markets on edge.

The U.S. authorities claimed that the Chinese company represented a national security threat and began banning the company's operations with accusations on espionage. The U.S. authorities did the same with ZTE, another Chinese company.

The technology giant is the world's second largest seller of smartphones behind Samsung.

The struggle between the U.S. government and Huawei began back in 2011 when U.S. intelligence officials accused Huawei saying that the company's hardware could provide a backdoor to China's massive surveillance practices. Huawei has denied these allegations multiple times.

President Trump signed a bill in 2018 banning both Huawei and ZTE's devices.

This comes before the rolling of 5G networks, which are super fast networks that will support not only the next generation of the Internet but also technologies such as Virtual Reality, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, Web connected factories, advanced medical equipment, supercomputers, and smart cities.

Huawei is one of the major global telecom providers of mobile wireless 5G network technology.

On Tuesday, a top Huawei executive said that the company is willing to sign a "no-spy agreement" with the United States reassuring that their technology is not and will not be used for surveillance, as the U.S. officials assume the company's technology does.

Huawei has offered similar proposals to the United Kingdom and Germany.

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"We are willing to sign a no-spy agreement with the U.S.," said Huawei Chairman Liang Hua, while speaking at the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, China. However, Liang also stressed that despite the public offer of such agreement, the conditions might not exist for such deal. "The U.S. has not bought from us, is not buying from us, and doesn't have plans to buy from us," he said. "So, I don't know if there's opportunity to sign such an agreement."

While maintaining a conciliatory tone, Liang's words also reflected the exasperation currently felt by the Chinese company. "It is inappropriate to use political means to disrupt an industry," he said.

The U.S. government has urged its allies to also ban Huawei's products from their countries because of concerns over security of its products, creating what could be considered a declaration of war to China.

Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei to its Entity List, banning American companies from selling technology to Huawei without the explicit approval of the U.S. government. The ban is going to take full effect later this summer.  

Meanwhile, Huawei has been meeting with American journalists to share the company's views on the matter, stressing that the company's position is against espionage and before compromising its principles the company would go out of business.

Last week, Huawei declared in a U.S. court that the Trump administration's efforts to ban the technology giant's equipment is unconstitutional.

Experts in China say that the U.S. government's ban might hurt Huawei in the short term, however, in the long term this might strengthen the company even more.

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